Using EFT to Enhance Your Self Image

The cause of a poor self image The term “poor self image” refers to a generally negative feeling about one’s self. Authorities on the subject have not developed a precise definition for it nor have they pinpointed an exact cause. Accordingly, there is no agreed upon way to handle it. EFT, by contrast, is much more precise in its approach and pinpoints an exact cause. Here it is: The cause of a poor self image is an accumulation of negative emotions about one’s self. This is self evident and is stated here because, in these terms, EFT makes eminently good sense. If we eliminate the negative emotions then we eliminate the cause. And without the cause the poor self image fades away. And what better tool to eliminate the negative emotions than EFT?

Poor self image may be the world’s number one ailment. It is so prevalent that almost everyone carries around some degree of it. Our self image is often equated with our self confidence. We tend to “radiate” it through our mannerisms, posture, words and gestures and others “pick it up” whether we want them to or not.

Accordingly, it has a major effect on our business, social, and personal performance. Sometimes jobs, promotions and sales are won or lost depending on how we radiate our inner thoughts to others. Friendships and romantic encounters can flourish or die depending on how we project our feelings about ourselves. The lower our self image, the easier it is to get upset and the more intense become our anger, guilt, jealousy and other emotional responses.

When our self image is low we tend to stay stuck in one place. We don’t venture into that new business or get out of that abusive relationship or try something new. Some parts of our lives can be very dull and depressing. In short, our self image is the centerpiece of our emotional strength. The quality of our lives often depends on it.

Go to the self help section of any major bookstore and there you will find countless books with solutions to the self image problem. In general, they emphasize positive attitudes and give exercises for looking at the brighter side of life. They encourage focusing on your strengths rather than your weaknesses and some emphasize visualization and affirmations to help you achieve these things. I applaud them all.

I’m in favor of anything that helps and many of these approaches do help people improve their self images. The results are a bit spotty, however. An improvement here. A new attitude there. Rarely does anyone achieve an across the board, dramatically improved self image with these tools.

The reason so many of these techniques fall short is that they do very little to neutralize all the self doubt and negative feelings that make up the poor self image. Rather, they try to overwhelm them with megadoses of positivism.

This is a laudable effort, of course, but one’s established self doubts and negative feelings can be rather stubborn. If your journey through life is like a bus ride, then these self doubts and negative feelings are passengers on your bus. You are at the wheel and they are your “back seat drivers” who think they own the front seats. Conventional methods won’t move them much.

EFT offers a refreshing new approach to this problem where dramatic, across the board changes do occur. I have seen people totally transformed by these techniques. Their mannerisms, posture, words and gestures all change to reflect a more positive, self assured person. Their friends and co-workers comment on the “new” person that has evolved before their eyes.

Rather than try to install new attitudes and perspectives, as conventional methods tend to do, EFT effectively liberates one from their self doubts and negative feelings. They loosen those unwanted passengers from their front seat positions and kick them off the bus. Once off the bus, they no longer contribute to a poor self image. The self doubts and negative feelings that make up a poor self image are forms of “negative emotions” which, of course, are what EFT was designed to handle. Remember the discovery statement upon which EFT is built…

“The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” With this in mind, the process to improve your self image is simple. Just perform The Basic Recipe on every negative emotion you have. One by one they leave and, as they do, the balance between your positive and negative emotions shifts inevitably toward the positive. A refreshing and confident new self image bubbles up to the surface. The baggage has been thrown off your bus.

This is a perfect place to use the previously mentioned Personal Peace Procedure. It automatically addresses all those negative specific events that intrude upon an otherwise healthy self image.

The forest and trees metaphor Here’s a metaphor that will further help your understanding of this concept. Consider each of your negative emotions or specific events as a tree in a negative self image forest. They might be reflective of things from your past like rejections, abuse, failures, fears, guilt, etc. There may be hundreds of them and they may be so thick as to resemble a jungle.

Let’s assume, though, that there are 100 diseased trees in your self image forest. If you cut one of them down (by neutralizing it with EFT) you still have 99 left. While you will get some noticeable, and much appreciated, emotional relief from removing that one tree, you still haven’t made much of a dent in the self image forest.

But what would happen if you methodically cut down one tree per day? Gradually, the forest would thin out. You would have more room to move within it and it would be a freer place in which to reside.

Eventually…with persistent use of EFT…all the trees disappear and in their place is a much more emotionally free you. The world looks different when the forest (or jungle) is gone and a new self image emerges.


Fortunately, you will not have to cut down all 100 trees to get your result. That’s because using EFT to neutralize a few negative emotions of a given type will tend to generalize over the remaining negative emotions of that same type. For example, assume that in your forest you have a clump of 10 trees known as “abusive experiences.”

Take the biggest (most intense) trees in that clump first and cut them down with EFT. Once you have done 3 or 4 of them, you will usually find that the remaining 6 or 7 fall on their own. Balancing the energy system for some trees then spreads to other trees of the same type.

You can then repeat this generalization concept with other clumps that might be called “failures” or”rejections.” In this way, a 100 tree forest might be cleared by cutting down approximately 30 trees. Be an observer With EFT, shifts in self image come much faster and much more powerfully than with conventional methods.

But the shifts don’t happen as rapidly as with phobias and distressing memories. EFT frequently handles those in moments whereas complete self image changes often take weeks. This is because the shifts in self image are the result of the time consuming elimination of numerous negative emotions (trees)….one at a time.

When I say that complete self image changes often take weeks, I do not mean that nothing is happening in the meantime. On the contrary, with each tree that is removed from the forest a shift in one’s self image takes place. However, the immediate emotional freedom that comes from the removal of that one tree does not usually make a noticeable change in the much larger self image problem. But the cumulative change that comes from removing several trees is noticeable if you become an “observer” of what is happening.

The changes that happen within you are gradual, subtle and powerful. They feel so natural that you don’t even realize that the shift is taking place. Eventually, your friends will comment on your changes and then you will have incontrovertible proof. But, until then, you need to be an “observer” and tune yourself into what is going on. Notice, for example, how you handled a recent rejection more matter-of-factly than before. Observe how you speak up more often and how you are taking better care of yourself. Listen to how the tone of your own conversations are shifting toward the positive.

Watch the reactions of others toward you as you radiate a more assured self image. Being an “observer” is important because, without it, you might conclude that nothing is happening and give up on the process.

How to proceed The method here is simple. It is the essence of The Personal Peace Procedure. There are only two steps:

1. Make a list of every past negative emotion you can think of. Include every time you had fear, rejection, guilt, anger, abuse, tears or any other negative emotion. Include both the big ones and the little ones but put the big ones on top. This is because you want to neutralize them first. Don’t concern yourself if you can’t think of every one of them at first. You can add to the list as they occur to you over time.

2. Then use The Basic Recipe everyday to “cut down a tree” from your list. Do this daily until no more negative emotions (trees) exist. Be sure to”observe” your progress along the way. You may do this more than once per day if your schedule permits and you may cut down more than one tree per session. However, you must handle each tree separately. Don’t lump them together in the same trip through The Basic Recipe.

After a few days into the process, you will notice that the “big trees” you started with don’t seem to show up in your life any more. That is typical and there is a lot of freedom in that. Enjoy it.